interview KOKANE  (July 2006) | Interview By: Nima

  Dubcnn hooked up once again with the westcoast pioneer that is Kokane. In our third in-depth interview with the legend we discuss his latest album "Pain Killaz" which is due out next month as well as what he has been up to recently. We talk in detail about the new release as well as getting deep on varying subjects - this is another dubcnn exclusive interview not to be missed.

As ever you can read this exclusive Dubcnn interview and we urge you to leave feedback on our forums or email them to nima@dubcnn.com.

Interview was done in June 2006

Questions Asked By: Nima

Kokane Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Interview Audio Here

Exclusive Video: The Making Of "Pain Killaz"


Dubcnn: You've been through a lot of ups and downs through the last years. Where do you stand right now?

Well where I stand right now is independent. Being independent is one of the best things you could do, being in the music industry, and having passion for it for many years. Major record labels, they reap the benefits, so it's time really for the independent record labels to reap the benefits. So that's where I stand, we got a label called "Circle Music", it's a conjunction with and Stan Sheppard, you know, the one who started Quik. It's a beautiful situation!

Dubcnn: Now you had announced a Ghetto Gospel record, before then completing another
album called "Take It Back To The Clap", which is dropping next month. What's the status on those?

As far as "Take It Back To The Clap" is concerned, that's a West Coast orientated record. During the time we made "Take It Back To The Clap", West Coast wasn't really in. That's a record that's waiting in the cut to come out. Sometimes you just gotta play the back role, so that album right there is specifically for the West Coast. But this new album, I gotta tell ya'll, everybody out there: This is the one. This is the one ya'll been searching for. It's got George Clinton, I did songs with Redman.. Let me tell you what the album is called first. This album that I want everybody to get is called "Painkillerz". This is going back, like Ice Cube went back, this is going back to "Funk Upon A Rhyme". For those that don't know, "Funk Upon A Rhyme" was an album that came out on Ruthless Records, it was very prolific; it was very ahead of its time. This new album "Painkillerz" is a maturity from '94
"Funk Upon A Rhyme", Kokane at his finest.

Dubcnn: Tell us about your deal with Circle Music. Who are they and what are they about?

Circle Music was founded originally by a guy by the name of Smitty, and a guy by the name of Sean. Where we come from, it's a small town with the big names, it's called Pomona. Pomona's known for putting the "P" into the whole game, the P.I., the pimpin'. When they came up with Circle Music, it's all of us where we from, Pomona, full circle. These guys that I'm with now are beautiful man. It's like we're self-made millionaires, from things that I can't tell you, and we embraced each other. These guys were like "You know what Kokane, every muthafucka used you in the world." And they already know about my passion for the music, but sometimes passion don't have nothing to do with the business part. That's what people fail to realize. You have to concentrate 85% on your business, as opposed to the rest, being music.

We all came together, Circle Music, is just a combination, it's full circle man, it's a revelation of what I've been through. And these guys comforted a nigga, gave me a comfort zone, and these some real niggas out here. Not real niggas, I don't mean to be derogatory, but these are some real brothers. And they embrace man. It's like "No more Kokane, no more people using you to get millions and you don't reap the benefits out of it." So it was kinda like a reckoning for my own self, being in this music industry.

So now, I'm more sitting upright as opposed to a caveman as far as my business is concerned. Circle Music is a beautiful situation; I can do what the hell I want. If I wanna do hooks now, I can do hooks, if I wanna do rapping, I can do rapping. That's where I'm most comfortable at, by doing what the fuck I wanted to do, instead of having people do what they wanted me to do, even though I'm real thankful for it. Because 75 millions records later singing hooks, it's a beautiful situation. But Circle Music is a combination of real niggas, thugging, thug passion, at the round table. So this project Pain Killerz is coming out, through Circle Music, it's an independent, and Sheppard, which is a legend, a Hall Of Famer, in the game, as far as the business goes. He's been behind alotta successful records,
including DJ Quik. He embraced it, and everybody said "No more! No more Kokane. You finna go do your thing, you finna be the Jedi Star Wars that you supposed to be."

Dubcnn: Are you Kokane on there or Mr. Kane?

It's Mr. Kane, but to tell you bluntly... everybody knows thats Kokane! We only saying Mr. Kane because it's really a maturity of me being in the game. We giving another chance and opportunity for the West Coast to never be behind again.

Dubcnn: Is Kokane mostly rapping or singing on here?

I'm busting homie! I'm back to the B-Boy stage, I'm back to the Kool G Rap stage! That's the way I started. It just so happened to be a blessing, I ain't takin' my ass up on my shoulders, or having arrogant confidence, it's just a blessing to have survived this long and to be able to know that I was
born into a training process to "boot camp in life" to be a Navy Seal. Now that the brother is a navy seal, and I know where I need to go man. This album "Pain Killerz", it's finna be a monster homie, something like when Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson hooked up homie. We got a 10-piece band, we also doing an album with George Clinton, and me and Suga Free doing an album called Suga Kane.

So this album is finna set all that shit off, and George Clinton is FUNKING on my shit. It's like now George Clinton calls me his son, so he calls me the Duke Of Funk homie. We takin' this shit back, it's authentic, it's West Coast ghetto royality, and "Pain Killerz" is the one that outta everything that I did, after being in a "boot camp" as far as the business is concerned... If ya'll don't know what I'm saying, sometimes you have to go through something to get somewhere. And this album is very prolific, at the same time you can shake your ass to it!

Dubcnn: You got Brotha Kam and Jayo Felony on the first single. Tell us about that track, how was it recording it?

When we came together man, it was a cool situation. Everybody's trying to squash their differences man. It's like now, a brothers getting way too old, I'm almost 40, and it's one thing to have aggravations in the game. But no more of that man, people trying to feed they kids, and me and Brotha Kam, that's a good brother, a soldier, and Jayo Felony, one of the most underrated muthafuckas in this game as far as the lyrical content is concerned, we came together and we said "Look, man, let's go ahead and get on this project right here, it can help all of our situations." Because one helps the other, the left helps the right, and they came and got down on it! And they showin' they muthafuckin' ass! They ain't poppin' their collar, they poppin' they Chuck Taylors on this single. "Pain Killerz", it's finna shut 'em down homie!

The whole thing about "Pain Killerz", to let everybody know, I had gotten in an altercation with someone I can't say right now, someone. I did this whole album, Big Nima, with a broke muthafuckin' jaw. A nigga had went through a tremendous amount of pain to make this album happen. But the best thing about it is that sometimes, when something bad happens to you, God can make
something good happen out of it. It's like when I was coming out telling you all about the "Ghetto Gospel", and this and that, it sounds really like "Man, what is he doing now? He's confused." But you see, when you want it so much, it never happens. You have to let God want it too. You have to show
effort, but it's a time and place foreseen for that to happen.

Ultimately, the Lord is our final destination in anything we have to do. And the way this album "Pain Killerz" came together, it's gonna set up the whole thing, for the Circle Music Full Rotation, it's gonna set up the whole thing as far as Kokane being a mature person in this business. Something to give
to the next person that don't have to pay the dues that I did, whether it's because of ignorance or stupidity or not handling business. Whatever the reason is, so what, it happened yesterday. But don't turn around, look forward man! "Pain Killerz" is my eight kids, it's my wife, it's my struggles, it's my confusion.

At the same time, the whole meaning of "Pain Killerz"... Everybody in life needs a pain killer, whether it's the Bible, whether it's the Quran, whether it's drugs, whether it's pussy... I'm just gonna give it to you straight. Whatever it is, for good or for bad, for every pain killer you have a side effect. And the side effects is gonna be from this album, it's only in ya'll true Kokane fans, it's only in ya'll hands. It's something to look forward to, the funk is back, and it's more mature than ever. It's manifesting into something else. This album "Pain Killerz" go and cop that shit, the first single is.. maaan.. it's a Tsunami homie!

Dubcnn: I liked what you said about everybody needing a pain killer in life. That's deep.

Thank you man. Man, I'm blessed enough to know you, brother Nima, for a long time, dubcnn! You're a hard working brother, and it's like the relationship between us, it's been straight. It ain't been on no hocus pocus, all that shit, nah. It has to be some type of realness about yourself. More so on this album, we go the songs where it's talking about this, but it's setting up for my next album, to say "Bitch, get the fuck out my camera shot, you blocking my angle, cause I gotta send a message to the youth cause somebody’s suffering.

It's a good thing man, brothers like you, brothers like Kam, Jayo, it's 360 degrees, it's full circle. Because we gotta come full circle to realize the right things you gonna do, whether you gonna stand up strong, or you're gonna fall weak. That's the whole meaning of "Pain Killerz", the whole of
Circle Music, it's like you come full rotation. Don't just keep chasing your tail like a dog. Cause a dog that chases his tail will get dizzy. You know what I mean? You have to wake up and smell the coffee homie. It's gonna be on a narrow road, hopefully I can stay on the narrow road, and brothers like
you can. If I, for all the mistakes that I have made in this game, if I can be a blessing to somebody, whoever it is, you never know what it affects, and tell them about the true form of business, and start teaching these brothers about independent record labels, then I have done what I need to do. Because each one teach one is a real factor that was cultivated in my mind. That's all I wanna do, be a blessing to somebody else, cause that's the biggest blessing in the world.

Yeah I done said this I done said that, but confusion starts in ones mind, when self is tired of figuring it out. I let God figure it out, and I move on it. Youth out there, young brothers and sisters out there, white black chinese jew muslim, whatever! It's like we have to come Full Circle with each other. Cause we have to learn from each other. It might seem confusing to you, and you might mean well, but as long as we got on God's armor, can no one question your activity, the way you operate day to day, can no one question that. Because that's your own particular road that you have. And the Gospel is one of the most important things to me.

But at a time where we go through alot of things that we don't understand, through a reckoning of our own reasoning, it's like we have to go through that process. I just feel like I'm going through a process. Anybody else out there that hurts, that has good times, whatever it is, it's a process we go
through. From going through the Gospel, to West Coast: Take it back to the clap, to Pain Pillerz, this is the set up. You gonna understand it, it's like the Old Testament and the New Testament, it's like really reading from backwards to forwards. You won't understand it till it goes down but for whatever reason God has, his design, I just praise God, and whatever you do, ya'll praise God out there. That's the best thing to stepping close to heaven.

I'm happy right now, I can't complain. I wake up, most people complain about alot of things. All these things, the powers, the government, all that shit can't be beat, but, the spirit can be anything, because it's something that you can't see sitting on your skin. That's the Lord. We all go through it
man, and ya'll, or whatever youth is out there, go cop this album Pain Killerz, because for the times that you not feeling like you wanna shake your ass, it has it's message, political message on there. We got a song on there called "G-Sense of humor", and it's like one of them *singing* CLICK
*singing* And it's cold, jack! It's something to get inside you man! It's a beautiful situation man.

Dubcnn: What are some other highlights of the album? Personal favorites?

The one with Suga Free, "Touch it, grab it, taste it, love it, smell it, suck it, if you can image it, then you can shake it!" And then me and George got one, it's so cold, it's called "Hard As Steel" *singing* CLICK HERE TO LISTEN !!! *singing* Whoooo! George is a master, he's a Jedi homie! Yup! So
we embraced it and it's like one thing man, I'm very passionate about what I do man. Any and everybody out there for what it's worth, the haters don't count, be passionate about what you do, and everything will happen accordingly. We got a song on also with Jelly Roll's ex-wife, Mami Gun, it's
called "Suga Suga", and what I did on this album... I mean you gotta give credit where credit is due, Rick James, George, I grabbed the emotions... we did this one called "Rick James", Nima! It goes like... *singing* CLICK HERE TO LISTEN !!! *singing* Whooo! It's cold, jack! We grabbing all the essence from the 70's. The funk is back more than ever homie! Whoever said funk is dead needs an invisible bullet in they head, man! This album is something else!

Oh and number one, most importantly, I cannot forget this, it's this kid named Josef Leimberg. This muthafucka is the HOTTEST PRODUCER OUT HERE ON THE WEST. I don't give a FUCK homie! This nigga is so muthafuckin'... excuse me I tend to get ghetto'ish like a mu'fucka when I talk about him... This nigga is THE SHIT man. This nigga plays like 13 different instruments, this muthafucka is a musical fuckin' genius. And on this album, I said "Man I gotta hook up with you". So seven months ago, no actually nine months ago, when we started this project, we didn't know what to expect. But we knew what we was doing, and it's music theory on it man, it's like fuckin' Quincy and Michael Jackosn hooking up! This muthafucka is.. oh my god homie...

Dubcnn: Yeah Josef did that "Pimp Slapp'd" for Snoop Dogg.

Exactly! He did that Pimp Slapp'd! And I ain't never been on nobody’s nuts ironing the wrinkles out they testicles, but this muthafucka is HAAAAAAAAAARD homie! He can sing, he did the whole fuckin' project man. I'm not finna get into no "I need a Jermaine Dupri/Dr. Dre..." Nah fuck all that man, we gonna go back to the old school, there's no reason why we can't be the Outkast,.. So this album right here, "Pain Killerz", is definitely finna be a big chunk of the West Coast coming back.

Dubcnn: Did Josef do the whole record?

He did the whole fuckin' record dogg.

Dubcnn: So you did a whole album with Fingazz and now you did a whole one with Joself Leimberg.

Yep I did the whole shit with him! And we laugh at it, my name is Jerry Long, his name is Joself Leimberg, J.L., that's the name of our production company, the J.L.'s.

Dubcnn: I met him a couple years ago in Canada on the Roc The Mic Tour with Snoop.

Yeah, he's a good brother man. They don't make them like that no more... We campaign for each other, no haters, it's going back to the days when Charlie Wilson hooked up with Zapp. Music is music man, make some fuckin' dope music man, and this muthafucka is off the muthafuckin toilet stool, trust me!

Dubcnn: He still rockin' his big afro?

Yeah he still got his big ass afro.. Yeah he still got that fucked up afro! *laughs* Hold let me put him on the line... Say something to the world baby!

Josef Leimberg: Whatup!

Dubcnn: Wassup man. I see you hooked up with Koka!

Joself Leimberg: Yes sir! We been putting it down in the studio. Getting good vibes with this music, harmony and such.

Dubcnn: So what kind of sounds you using on the record?

Joself Leimberg: What kinda sounds? Shit, a little funk, a little soul, a little jazz, a little rock, it's all mixed up in there! A little gangster music... You know! We just in there having fun and making it do what it do!

Dubcnn: You gotta have fun when you around Koka...

Joself Leimberg: Well yeah man! Shit I'm plaqued up since the last time I've seen you, I got me a couple plaques. Everything beautiful down here!

Dubcnn: We gonna have to get together for a interview soon too then!

Josef Leimberg: That's wassup! Just hit Koka man, cause we on the up and up on the daily, and he'll make it happen! We got this little production team, I'm sure he told you, so we doing it!

*Kokane back on the line*


Dubcnn: Yeah.

It's full circle man! Circle Music!

Dubcnn: Besides Jayo, Kam, Suga Free, George Clinton, who else do you have on the album?

I got up and coming artist Young Bleezy, Trajic, we got Mamie Gun who's definitely somebody to watch for.

Dubcnn: She's not with Jelly Roll anymore right?


Dubcnn: You told me you had some words for some people on the record too...

Yeah. And I'ma save the surprise. I ain't never fucked with no Jelly Roll. Sometimes I had to do that but *starts singing "The Wash" (Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg ft. Jelly Roll) I'd rather be riding than walking, and all you loud mouth niggas keep talkin', la la laaa *singing* You know what I'm saying? I might have to turn around an 'Knoc-Turnal' your style! You know what I mean? Sometimes thats the way rapping’s been, ain't nobody I wanna see dead, but take it to the stage, sucka! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! You know what I'm saying? It's a competitive competition, even though we on the same Olympic U.S. team but still, we trying to be the best we can be. Right now I'll go up against anybody. I don't care homie, we right here groovin' homie, and it's authenticated. On this album, George Clinton crowns me Duke Of Funk, so nobody can take that. Oooohwoooow..

Dubcnn: Did you get a distribution deal for the record or...?

Yeah we're with a label we took a chance on and that took a chance on us, and you not supposed to be depend on a distribution company to get your stuff. That's only one part. They're responsible for putting your shit in the stores, what you have to do is come with a whole successful gimmick,
charm, the sound and business wise. So we hooked up with this distribution company called Super D, the only ones doing business with them is [Ice] Cube and Snoop [Dogg]. So that lets you know what time it is.

Dubcnn: What's the release date for the record?

I'm not sure, but it's in August. Ya'll should be starting to see visuals on it pretty soon.

Dubcnn: Are you planning on shooting a video for a song?

Hell yeah we shootin' a video for "Pain Killerz", we shootina video for me and George, and we gonna do a little movie like that "Eastsidaz" movie, and just to let everybody know, me, Snoop, Kurupt, everybody hooked up. It's no problems, it's nothing. We finna be a Tsunami on the whole fuckin' world! Everybody, Westside of Japan, Westside of Germany, Westside of New York, throw your muthafuckin' Dubs in the air, cause we ain't going nowhere!

Dubcnn: How was last nights session with Kurupt?

It was beautiful, eloquent; it was like rubbing a genie out the lamp and shit, and getting three wishes. It's a beautiful movement! We got up north the Hyphy movement, you got down here he G-Movement, it's a beautiful thang, palm trees, lowriders, fly movie starts, gangs. "We from the land of the gang bang!" Me and Cube did a record it's so beautiful it's called "I Spit Pollaseeds". Much love to that nigga!

Dubcnn: That was a old song from your album right?

It was... it was! And for him to go head, being the type of giant he is, to say "Well fuck that I still wanna use it because I can do this." Much love to him and Lay Law and D-Mack for putting that record together man. West Coast we support each other, because we had alot of bad times with
supporting each other. Everybody wanted to be king and shit, fuck all that shit! Make good music. Make good music, because everybody wants to get a good opportunity to get play on a New York radio station. There was a time where no radio station practically played no muthafuckin' West Coast shit.

Much love to K-Day, they came back, Julio G, and it's beautiful dogg. That's all I can say. It creates jobs, it helps my family, cause that shit is how we eat dogg! The south ain't doing nothing but what the West Coast did in the 80's! And that's real! That's real! I love the south, but tell it like it is! West Coast set this whole bitch off. New York laid the foundation, but West Coast set this muthafucka off, for us to make billions of dollars. This is black music homie.

Dubcnn: You told me you're working on a duo album with Suga Free called Suga Kane. What's up with that?

Man, Suga Free's shit is out, my shit is gonna come out, and we just got together man! That's like planet Pluto meets Saturn! You know what I mean? We got a song on there called "I'm smoking on... don't you ask what it is!" And it's like *singing* CLICK HERE TO LISTEN !!! *singing* The name of our
album that's gonna come out probably in March is called "Suspended Animation: Suga Kane".

Dubcnn: That sounds wild. You're crazy, Suga Free's crazy, thats gonna be some psychopathic music!

Oh my god!!! Whoooo! Man, I'm telling you, this is what makes music fun, when you can see that type of novelty and that like whooaaa.. I mean when Parliament first came out, them muthafuckas actually looked like they came from another planet! Ya'll muthafuckas gonna think we from another universe when this Suga Kane shit comes out. It's operation shut down. It's Suga Free, Kokane, combined together like voltron... transforming.. it's a monster!! Godzilla.

Dubcnn: Who else have you been collaborating with lately?

I collaborated with this nigga who I think lyrically... I mean everybody wanna be like Pac... Nah, he's himself, and that's Young Buck. Young Buck... everybody's hard over here, but it's something about what he do, that's really Makaveli-ish, you know what I'm saying? We did a song called "Do
Wrong", that muthafucka is... MAN!! The hook goes *singing* CLICK HERE TO LISTEN !!! *singing* Man, I'm glad I had the invitation sent out. See that's what makes it beautiful. It's like now West Coast is just migrating all over the world, it's not about just about Cali, it's a Westsider everywhere, you know what I mean? He invited me down, and he was like "Man, how can I not invite Kokane down nigga? We used to chop up our whoo-whoo-whoo to you. And that makes me feel good.
Because through the years you got people nick-picking at your style, you got people doing this... But being successful is one thing, but longevity and having good relationships is the best part of the game.

Man, it's just a beautiful situation to do stuff with him, and 40 Glocc, and G-Unit, Ice Cube, who ever dogg. I don't complain about nothing. I ain't got time to be worried about nothing else but making good passionate music that's going to trickle down to the next generation, you know what I mean? I'm a student, I mastered my craft, i'm a Jedi, I don't have to prove nothing. All people
gotta do is see what a brother is going through, have a good time with this record "Pain Killerz", it's a classic.

Dubcnn: How do you view life? I know family is very important to you.

Family is the most important thing in life. Sometimes people fail to realize that cause we are so overcome by our jobs and making it. But when you look at it, family is the very essence that's getting us there. I know that, man, if I lose my voice like D.O.C. tomorrow, I'll always have my family. You know what I'm talking about? My kids is going good, they get all A's. It's about that man, it's about having a good solid family background, and if you're able to do that, then you have to hold on to that. But when it's said and done, when Kokane goes home, I'm Jerry B. Long. So, where I stand with it right now, is enjoy yourself in life. Of course, don't drown in your pain, don't have a seizure in life and drown in your throw-up. Just go out there and know that yesterday is yesterday, and look forward to tomorrow. Take each day with one step. Before you know it, you'll get to your
destination. You just gotta keep pushing on man. Keep pushing on.

That's the message that I'm more-so getting to the youth. Keep pushing on. We're gonna start doing Y.A. tours, Youth Authority tours, we're gonna give back to the kids man, because these are the last days dogg... These really are the last days, and you have to play your part. You gotta be a tree thats
different from a flower, different from the ocean, but all of that is part of one earth man. So you have to play your part as a puzzle piece. That's where I stand on life right now, is to look forward to opportunities, look forward to helping somebody to have opportunities. Because the ways of the
world are so wrinkled right now, because brainwashing and mind-fucking is at it's high.

Dubcnn: What else should the people know, is there anything else you wanna say?

Yeah! Go get this Kokane record, Mr. Kane record, it's called Pain Killerz. This album right here ya'll, it's the one! They've got the whole industry out here talking about it. Go get that shit, I hope you like it, and I thank all of my fans for being part of my little funky weird mysterious type of music that we do. Go out there and each one teach one, and you'll know that you'll play your part. Go out there and do something good, go out there and get somebody a pain killer, because your very word is a pain killer, and a good side effect of you giving somebody a pain killer is uplifting somebody, giving him a chance to affect the next person along the way. That is the true face of each one teach one. Thanks to everybody out there whoever supported Kokane, the rapper Kokane, not the drug Kokane, the rapper Kokane, to give me the energy to continue on this mission to let this funk just fill the whole universe again.

Dubcnn: Alright man...

Thank you Nima! Ya'll muthafuckas better know! The number 1 shit is DUBCNN! We keep it humble over here! Only thing we fear is God, and Nima, God gonna take you to places where you ain't never thought of! There's no limitations! You moving mountains, bro! I love you homie. We been doing it for a long time. We keeping our campaign. To everybody, don't be a hater, be a congratulator!



Kokane Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Interview Audio Here

Exclusive Video: The Making Of "Pain Killaz"



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